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Niinisto's fuel to the nazi fire
by Thanos Kalamidas
2016-02-07 11:57:20
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Thursday morning, reading the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s speech for the opening of the Finnish parliament spring term, the first thought that crossed my mind was, let’s hope that the fascist Marine Le Pen and the Nazi Niko Michaloliakos won’t read it. Sadly the same noon the British far-conservative, xenophobic in the limits of racist, tabloid “Daily Mail” had already quotes and reports from the speech and ironically even they found some of the remarks challenging.

noi01_400The Finnish president is not just a president with limited powers who guards the constitution and democracy in Finland, like ion most European democratic states; he is a president with powers and veto. Actually he has more power than the government regarding issues that include foreign policy, defence and specifically relations with the United Europe. Combine that with a definitely ultra-right and xenophobic government where one of the partners is a fascist in the closet and Europe in a financial and refugee crisis, the outcome is not the best for democracy in Finland.

Adding the financial and identity crisis Finland has been facing for long and has managed to hide for long from the rest of the world the role of the president becomes very important. The last few months the True/Pure Finns have shown in many ways their true aims in the government influencing legislations that have turn a liberal country that for long championed democracy and human rights into a backyard fascist state veiled with the old reputation and myths. Apart from their obvious and insulting xenophobia they have expand their influence form education (the once major pride for Finland) to art.

In the meantime, most of the democratic Finns feeling neglected by the politicians and the political system had turned to Sauli Niinistö, hoping that the Finnish President will be the one to interfere when the time comes, when Timo Soini and his True/Pure Finns will push it too much in the government. Fatal mistake. In his speech the conservative to Sauli Niinistö did exactly the same to what most of the political spectrum has done in Finland, he endorsed the True/Pure Finn ideals and he took it one step further. He actually legitimised their actions and gave a legitimate argument to all the fascists, Nazis, racists all around Europe.

Sauli Niinistö started his speech pointing that the refugees issues is the biggest problem at the moment and continued suggesting that if the Geneva Conventions were written now they’d be significantly stricter. He actually said that root of the problem was with the Geneva Conventions.

The Finnish president did something extremely dangerous - and I’m sorry that this might hurt my Finnish friends - but he did exactly what Adolf Hitler did in early and mid-1930s by attacking the Treaty of Versailles, twistingly legitimising his plans and psychotic ideals that led to a holocaust and a World War II.

The Geneva Conventions singed in 1949, comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of war. The Geneva Conventions extensively defined the basic rights of wartime prisoners (civilians and military personnel); established protections for the wounded; and established protections for the civilians in and around a war-zone. The treaties of 1949 were ratified, in whole or with reservations, by 196 countries. Moreover, the Geneva Convention also defines the rights and protections afforded to non-combatants. The Geneva Conventions do not address warfare proper—the use of weapons of war—the subject was addressed by the Hague Conventions and the bio-chemical warfare Geneva protocol. The Geneva Conventions were all about civilians and their protection. Most importantly under current circumstances, they define the refugee status.

However when the Geneva Conventions were signed in 1949 the memories of a war and a holocaust were very fresh, plus the fact that Europe has already lived a massive population movement – even Mr Niinistö’s Finland felt it with the refugees coming from Karelia – and a new global war, the Cold War, was just rising. Memories of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito were too strong and rumours about Stalin’s practices had already started. So unintentionally the people who drafted the Geneva Conventions “forgot” to clarify when it is war, when a leader becomes a dictator and most importantly when a war ends and who says it. This were inhumanly, criminally and unethically Sauli Niinistö based a very dangerous argument that I’m afraid is going to have a global impact.

Let me give you two examples. May 1st, 2003; in a speech on a battleship, the then American president, George W. Bush, declared that the Iraqi “mission accomplished”. What that meant nobody really understood but the consequences started soon after. First of all a lot of allies withdrew from Iraq in the next few months, then the Americans started preparing their withdrawal. In the meantime the civil war had started with thousands of innocent victims and the numbers escalating daily. But there was no war against terror, against evil, against whatever anymore in Iraq. Suddenly from there it moved to a purely internal issues which Americans and allies were happy to help sending advisors and private security experts and constructors. That means that the civilians were not anymore problem for anybody except the Iraqi’s government doesn’t matter if that government was in the middle of a civil war. Actually even this status was not recognized because it would hurt American interests and PR. consequently all refugees form Iraq changed status and from refugees they became politically correct economic migrants or as everybody calls them unethically, illegal immigrants.

noi02_400Economic migrants means that no country or state has any obligation to protect them or give them settler. It means that they are doomed one way or another.

Iraq was one example but think of it. There is no war in Afghanistan, in Nigeria, in Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, DR Congo, Palestine… actually we live in a totally peaceful world and we didn’t know it. If we could make Putin and Russia disappear from the map to make happy even more Mr Niinistö and Soini’s True/Pure Finns we would live in paradise!

And that leads us to the second example I’m sure Mr Niinistö wanted to bring but traces of ethic and most likely his fear of an international outcry didn’t let him do so. Actually in Syria there is no war. What there is, is an uprising to overthrow a dictator. It is an internal issue which includes a group of terrorists that the international community tries to isolate while helping the uprising. That means that there are NO “legal” refugees and the people who die daily in the Mediterranean waters there are nothing more than …illegal immigrants who want to go to Finland and after raping all the Finnish women live happily ever after with the Finnish welfare. This is what the Finnish president left out of his speech.

And if you thought that this was the dangerous part wait for the next one. Mr Niinistö said that “Europe, Finland, the western way of thinking and our values have all been challenged by it. This is a stark transformation; just a few years ago we were exporting our values and regarded them as unquestionable, now we are having to consider whether even we ourselves can preserve them.”

Obviously Mr Niinistö is absolute ignorant about the European values. He has never heard about Plato, Socrates and Aristotle. He must have never heard of the Renaissance or the French Revolution, he must have never heard of the Age of Enlightenment, the 19th century liberalism, about Christianity and European secularism. Actually Mr Niinistö must have never heard the supreme of the European values, democracy and humanitarianism where everything is based nearly 2.500 years and consequences the European Union which Finland is an equal member accepting all the values that constitute it. But Mr Niinistö avoided mentioning the EU foundations, avoided the European constitution and the European Charta of human rights because just like Hitler before him, they don’t serve his obvious True/Pure Finn agenda.

The fascist xenophobe leader of the True/Pure Finns and Finnish foreign minister, Timo Soini, was the first to stand up and applauded the Finnish president. Sauli Niinistö had just legitimized even the Nazi patrols in the streets of the Finnish cities that beat anybody who doesn’t look like a foreigner to them or to their stereotypes.

Sauli Niinistö became a very dangerous man globally and if till yesterday he played the role of the misled Von Papen now he has become the theorist of the Nazis, the fascists and the racist all around the world and that’s how he will be remembered. A contemporary Otto Strasser? With what end?

I’m afraid Sauli Niinistö just opened Pandora’s Box and he did it totally consciously and intentionally, despite my sorrow for Finland and Finnish people who are in denial at the moment, let’s hope that this will remain an internal issue. Otherwise we are going to live dramatic moments in the near future and Sauli Niinistö will be the one who added fuel to the fire.

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